Friday, November 30, 2012

poka dot princesses

Having little girls is so much fun.  They are not better than the boys but so different   They are sweet, dainty, make soft sounds, cuddles, smiley, so much more than just in pink clothes.

Faith is my shadow, my mini me.  I find her all the time copying what I do.    Grace is so excitable.  She light up when she see people smiling and giggling.  She has to sleep holding hand with whoever is next to her and she always has to sleep snuggled in to someone at night.

I love these two!




Monday, November 26, 2012

First Day of Hunting Season

Is today  a holiday where you live?  The first Monday after Thanksgiving?  Some call it cyber Monday and celebrate that, I have before that's when I got my great camera that I now find it is slow and frustrating.  Or maybe it was just not meant to take picture of 5 super fast and busy kids.  Today in Pennsylvania is the first day of hunting season and here it is a holiday.

My kids have off school but they can't go play outside.  I took the trash out this morning and all you is gunshots.  I will not let them out anymore after I heard this story:

I know there are probably also many others like it.  It was an accidental shooting of an Amish girl by a bullet that traveled a mile and a half.  You can read the story here.

But they are home they are driving me a little nuts :)  They have cabin fever and want to go back to school.  They also would not mind going hunting but I think they are still a little young.  And I wonder if they could ever really shoot an animal, I think not.

I might even be up for hunting if I got to dress like this.

Source: via kristel on Pinterest

Very classy.  I never got the camo thing?

If you are out have, we are staying in and will enjoy Open Season, and hopefully decorate.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Finally...Jim's here

I am so excited   And very happy because we got Elf on a Shelf!!!!!  This is something I had been wanting for a while but I waited on it trying to see if I could grab it when it when on sale and it never did.  I looked it up over the summer on ebay and no successes   I watched the black Friday adds and after Christmas sales and never did he go on sale.  ( I wish I would be the genius cash cows on this one)  So after 2 years of watching I broke down and bought the $30 doll.  It arrived the day before Thanksgiving, perfect, I would start our new tradition on black Friday.

The boys spent the day at there friends so it gave me time to set up the stage for our visitor.  I wrote a quick note on the box and put it in a shiny Santa bag so they would think it was from him.


After I buckled the tiny team in the truck and they could not see the front door I said "opps I forgot my keys I will be right back" and I left the package on the front door.


Then off to pick up the rest of the kids, sneaky me!


My actually obident eldest son took the package and placed it in the area we have set aside for a tree.


Evan put a post it there so we would not forget :)

Any other time they would have  torn open the package   I had to say no, no kids since this one came so early why don't you go ahead and open it.  Then they did not hesitate.


It gave them a bit of a struggle but they got it open and it was Elf on a Shelf!  They had no idea what that is.


They saw a book, a DVD and a doll.  Gregory read the book to his sister.


Then I tried to read it to the rest but they were bouncing all over the place.  We settled down had dinner and then watched the movie.


Basically what elf on a shelf is, is a behavior program for kids during the holidays. (so far has not worked though but only 2 days and counting)  Santa sends his scout Elf's to your home, you adopt them and they watch the children to see if they are good or bad.  Each night they fly home to Santa to report.  You can not touch the elf or he/she loses their magic.  Trust me this is serious stuff.

The kids decided on the name Jim, which gave him his magic.  I placed him out of the reach of the tiny team but that did not stop them from trying.  Jim did fly back home that night and landed in a snowman Evan had made the next morning.  But he fell.  So I had to pick him up and move him.  In his new spot he kept falling over he was not feeling very well.  I stuck a cinnamon stick with him as that is Elf vitamins.


It worked because the next morning he was gone.  He had flown home to tell Santa what was going on.  But upon his arrival he encountered some one new, it was the tooth fairy.  Yes Evan lost a tooth that day and tucked it under his pillow so they colaberated.  She sent him a letter...

When I came to your home I got surprised by a red little man
He was not Santa but he said he came from that land
He told me you named him Jim
He was happy about that
Jim is a good name he said
And then he asked why are  you going through Evan’s bed
I told him I am the tooth fairy
I am here to do my job
Evan lost a tooth today and I will award him with $5
He is a good boy and I love so much
When his tooth came out tonight he pulled it with a gentle touch.
I am Evan’s elf I will give him the money
I watched him all day and he is funny
Okay here is his $5 can you give it to him
Of course I will Jim said with a grin.
So off Jim went with the money from the tooth fairy
can you find him where is he hiding?
Maybe there is a surprise!  I gave you $5
But he threw in a little too
You can add it to you Christmas jar as a special gift from him to you.

And Jim held the money. $5 for Evan and his tooth $20 for the Christmas jar, what a nice missing tooth score.


It took Evan so long to find it.  Our hearts were breaking as his dad and I kept giving him directions of stuff to do that would lead him right to his Elf.  And finally he saw him, boy I am glad Jim is not a snake.  That awesome little Elf we are all loving and looking for him.  It is a lot of fun I am so glad he is here.  As they wake up each morning it sure is fun.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Pictures from Thanksgiving

Here are a few snapshots from the kids playing on Thanksgiving...

We watched the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade twice.  The kids loved it Smiley was super excited to see the Ninja Turtles and the Power Rangers.  Faithy was super crazy to see Dora.


At one point today she was walking around yelling map!  But truly expecting it to come. (Map is a talking map that rides in Dora's bag pack and helps her find her way.)


She also like all the cheer leading and dancing.  She would dance right a long.


Smiley also enjoyed the rockettes, me too, he was kicking high and then ran and started making Gracie kick too.


It was going well until...


Nooo brother is that who I think it is???


She was so worried he would get out of the tv and come here she about cried.

Gracie is such a rollie  baby now.  We put her down and find her across the room.



But the biggest brother steps in and is trying to teach her how to crawl.


She really likes the way these mats feel.  She scratches at them like her cat, Wyatt, who I would not let inside for Thanksgiving.  She would go after that bird and ruin everything.



She has had a hard couple of days.  She has more than anything just wanted mom tp pick her up and play with her but I had to keep passing her off to a brother for help because dad not is not the best babysitter,


I have been at school and cooking a storm and was unable to hold her constantly like she deserves, oh she is the most spoiled of them all.  But why not she is our baby!!!


And might I not add so happy, cute, cuddly kissable just a pure and gracious gift!

I did make it out side.  I cleaned the shed.  The days for that are coming short and it has been needing to be done for a while.


Not the funist Thanksgiving activity but needed.

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving and enjoyed a peek at ours.

It is over

What a beautiful day it is outside as I look through the window.  I should go out and enjoy it but I am still shaking off the sleepy head.  We are done eating done watching the parade and I just woke up from my turkey induced nap.  3 others are still sleeping, while the other 3 are playing wii.  I did not care because they left me alone to sleep, sorta.

Dinner was good.  I made enough for tons of people but we only had 7.  Everyone ate the dinner but baby.  But I know she wanted to.  She has now started eating oatmeal.  Although I don't know how much she actually eats because she is always smiling even when eating.


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Here is a little turkey day trivia.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I am busy getting ready for us to feast tomorrow.  I am writing this as I have 4 pounds of bacon cooking right now.  I need the bacon to make 3 other dishes and 4 pounds takes a while to cook at 5 pieces at a time.  Yes, I do have a large griddle but no I did not think of that till now.  So I thought I might be able to pop over here and say Hi!

This week has been a tremendous week.  I had two major shopping trips and two other times getting the things I forgot or could not find.  I don't think I have ever spent so much on groceries.


Here is my little helper holding a receipt larger than her for 1 of the many trips.  I have mostly shopped for us  for Thanksgiving but I had to get some other things too.  Remember I said I had to make potatoes for the kids school too?  Well that is included in those receipts also.  Thanksgiving fest at their school went well.   I made lots of potatoes!


Not my best ever but I have never made such large quantities at one one time before.  I over did the butter so I had to adjust a lot of the other elements.  A helpful hint... If use mess up with liquids while making real mashed potatoes you fix it and not have to start over is, instant potatoes.  Yup as simple and easy as that.  Keep a box in your pantry just in case, and if you have to much liquid you can fix it by adding small sprinkles of instant until it is back to the desired consistency.

I also learned something new today while making potatoes for our family.  I never use a mixer.  I mash our potatoes the old fashion way leaving them a little lumpy.  That has always been the way we liked them best.  But today I read a potato recipe that said:
                   When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Turn the burner on low. What we’re going to do is mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients. That way, the potatoes won’t be watery or “mealy.”  Mash away until most of the steam has escaped and most of the chunks of potato have been mashed well.  Turn off the stove then add the rest of the ingredients and keep mashing.

What a potato revelation!  Doing it this way made the potatoes so nice and creamy and much better than the way I was doing it chunky home style.  And you still do not use a mixer.  From now on.  To bad I did not learn this before I made the ones for the school.

It went great.  It all looked so delicious and smelt so good.


Me and a bunch of moms ready to serve the hungry pilgrims and Indians   Who would have know that was a big decisions for the kids to make what to be, a pilgrim or an Indian   The boys talked and reasoned which they want to be the night before and I though oh that my silly boys but when I was talking to another mother she said her daughter was debating the same thing!  Who knew it was such a tough and import and decisions?

But in the end the boys chose the same thing they were last year.  Evan an Indian.

Gregory a pilgrim.


The all were so darling!  This is most of Gregory's class I think they are missing 1 or 2 kids.


These are the 3 years.  Remember their classes go from 1-3 in the same class.


Those two pictures are from 1 of Gregory's teachers, remember each class always has at least 2 teachers.  This day it however had 5.  Five teachers for 18 kids, that's a good ratio.  Or maybe they turned out for the feast today.


These pictures give you a good glimpse into Montessori life.  Gregory is here in the coroner doing his work. That does not at all mean it is what the class is doing.  They have some lessons together but they are allowed to take it in what direction they like.  I was taking these pictures though a window.  There rooms are full of windows  I was standing out in the large common room looking in at him through a what I call nursery window.  On the shelf in front of him is the bead frames they use those all the time and to the side of him are the number chains.  They are all used to teach the children math and work fantastically   The kids have so much fun with them too.  there math is just a bit different too.  In school you probably learned to add then subtract a few years later multiplication and divining.  Their structure is set to build upon itself.  They learn to add then the next logical step is to multiple it.  They learn  higher math very quick because it also builds upon itself.  They do learn to subtract and divide but it comes at the end of there second year.


Here is Evan doing crafts with friends.  He loves arts.  One thing pretty evident in this picture are the mats and couch.  They have no desks.  There are maybe 3 small tables in each room.  Could you sit behing a desk for 6-8 hours and be expected to sit up, not fidget  not talk, be ultra uncomfortable and learn so much information.  Can you expect 7 and 9 year old boys to do that?  No not at all.  The children sit where they are comfortable.  They learn where they are comfortable.  If they need to get up and move they can.  If they have to go to the bathroom they can, if they want to stop doing there math and do there science they can.  They encourage the children learning without putting unreal expectations on them.


Aww see this cutie!  What a dear.  And yes that is my son running from me behind her.  Very light uncluttered classrooms.

Well this lasted longer than just cooking the bacon.  I have spent ALL day cooking.  So much food yeah.  But I am so worn out.  I am calling it good for the night.  Tomorrow I do have a few things to make and even more to eat.


Happy Thanksgiving too everyone!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Christmas Pictures

Yesterday i attempted to take the kids and have there Christmas pictures done.  Attempted was the key.  Faith has a strong close up embedded fear of all mythological creatures.  Santa was a no go.  She was so beautiful hand happy...



 And then came Santa.  Tears and scream she squirmed and ran like she was going to be his jolly lunch.

The photographer did take a hundred or so pictures trying to find one was she was the least frightened.  There was one but none of them were good.  I suggested what if Santa goes on break and the kids just sit in the chair and it worked.  We got a picture but again it was not very good.  Gregorys shoes and legs were showing and look horrible, Gracie had such a blah expression nothing like her sweet beautiful self.




Smiley was dear in every picture.  He is so easy to get a good photo of.  And so sweet to his sister.


The boys were handsome but never looking at the camera.


Evan sporting his own style.  He is in love with his new fedora.  He wears it all the time, even to bed.


Gregory looking great in his Santa tie.  He was my hard one because he know Santa is me now but he still is not 100% sure.  He says stupid and sometimes mean things about it to his siblings I have got to find a way to make it fun for him to keep it a secret   Maybe buy him a Santa suit and let him sneak around the house putting out the gifts?


All these pictures are mine of course.  I took a few of them once we got home but no posed shots.  This is the second time I have gone to this photographer and the second time I have to retake the pictures my self.  I will share hers when I get them back, they are not bad but not good.  And so still on ,my to do list take the kids Christmas pictures.  I can't wait to get a good one.  I know my kids best and how to photograph them.
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